World Sight Day 2009

Some 314 million people in the world, with best-corrected vision, cannot read an 8 mm letter size on a paper held 40 cm away from the eyes.

45 million of those considered visually impaired are blind. In fact, by the time you have read till here, another three people would have lost their sight. And two in three blind people are female.

90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income countries. The women there have only half the access to eye care that men do.

In developed nations, women tend to live longer and so are more likely to get ageing-related eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma.

The tragedy is 80% of cases of blindness are treatable, curable or preventable. Cataract – the main cause of blindness – can be cured with a simple, cost-effective operation.

And a simple eye exam and glasses can restore sight to most of the eight million who are blind due to uncorrected refractive errors like near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism.

One in two did nnt realise regular checks were needed. Almost 18% said it was inconvenient.

Those who use corrective eyewear should get their eyes checked every year, while those who do not, should do so every two years.

Today is World Sight Day. It is held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

Adapted from today’s edition of Singapore’s The Straits Times (08/10/2009) with some edited parts to suit the global context. All rights reserved belong to The Straits Times.

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Singapore Army Open House 2009 – Part 2

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Is this a tractor? Or perhaps used to help in earthquake’s or landslide’s disaster zone?

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A robot used to prevent bomb detonation? This reminds me of Indonesia’s Kopassus (Komando Pasukan Khusus or Special Fores Command), one of the best military group in the world (in terms of using brain).

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And by the way, I was on the other venue showing the military equipments.

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A helicopter is a rotary-wing aircraft, where did I learn that?

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This artillery somehow reminds me of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Look at the humanity side of the picture

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Too bad that photo-taking is not allowed in the cockpit of this helicopter, must be security reasons.

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Is this the Hawk helicopter? Sorry, I don’t memorise types of military aircraft or helicopters. I only memorise types of commercial aircraft.

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This is such a huge vehicle.

That’s the end of my report on Singapore Army Open House. Since this is believed to be my last year here in Singapore, yu won’t see me reporting about this event in the future (hopefully I still could). Next year, I’ll be back to Indonesia. I will report of the annual Sanur Festival, Bali Arts Festival and more of Indonesian events. So long Singapore Army.

Singapore Army Open House 2009 – Part 1

Last week, the Singapore Army held an open house from Thursday, 3 September till Monday, 7 September. I went to the open house on Saturday, 5 September. The open house is held between 9 am till 7 pm if I’m not wrong. I came quite late at about 4.15 pm.

The open house was held in Pasir Laba camp and the nearest MRT station is Joo Koon (the last station on the west side of the green line MRT). The walk from the MRT station to the camp reminds me of ‘hash’ activity I participated about five years ago by the by-pass road connecting Sanur and Gianyar in Bali (I’m talking about the distance).

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Joo Koon MRT station

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The army is kind enough to give directions on how to reach the camp. But after the visit, I was doggone tired (my feet skin was torn a little bit after walking).

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Passing through Singapore Discovery Centre

And due to some security reasons, I didn’t take the photo of the Pasir Laba camp’s gate. I don’t dare to take any photos of military or police camp including in my own country.

So, there was a security check before I got in. No X-ray scanner (unlike the Istana Open House), they checked my bag manually and gave me a brochure on the event.

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Some tanks were showcased.

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The Third Generation of the Army and due to privacy reasons, I censored some of the faces.

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This reminds me of one of the 80’s comedy show “Warkop DKI”. Dono, Kasino and Indro were determined to be security guards and their instructor was a mad guy (the real instructor was locked on the toilet by his twin who pretended to be the instructor).

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There must be a bomb simulation earlier.

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I’m not trying to capture the plate number of their vehicles.

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Woe is me as I went there alone so there was no chance for me to be narcissistic (anyway I’m not one of them).

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This field is only one of the venue where they showcased their fighting equipments.

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I’ve never been to North Korea before but this statue reminds me of some of the statues in there.

That’s part one. Part two is coming up next.